Telehealth: the good, the bad and the ugly
I am writing this from Paradise Beach in Langebaan, a small coastal town on the West Coast of South Africa. My partner and I left our apartment in Green Point, Cape Town on the 25 March, 2020, the day before the announced lockdown. This we did in a hurry as we heard that there was a positive case of Coronavirus in our building. We were fortunate to have our holiday home available and clean as our Airbnb guests have all cancelled due to the pandemic, and we feel safe in our isolation, surrounded by the most beautiful nature .
I am thankful that online consulting or telehealth, as it is currently termed, enables me to support previously established face-to-face therapeutic relationships, and a few first-time clients too.
We talk about their world view that keeps evolving. I listen, acknowledge and respect all of their feelings; from the pain of loss of normalcy and loss of control, to the devastating effects of isolation and loneliness, from lack of touch and human contact, to fear of catching Covid-19 and possibly dying alone. We hold fears of the unknown future, from mild or severe anxiety to depression.
We share exquisite joy, fun and peace and go back again to pain, insecurity, and quite recently, fear of our security and police forces who we have witnessed acting with a particularly heavy-hand when dealing with non-compliance of the new laws.
Telehealth has its own drawbacks, however. This at a time when added focus and attention of myself, as a psychologist, is essential; probably more so than at any time in my many years of practice.
I am adjusting to seeing and hearing the non-verbal cues of clients through the veil of a Zoom screen or with interruptions from pets and young children wanting attention, or when either of our internet connections crash just at the point of an intense interaction between us.
More than ever it is clear to me that patience and compassion will help all of us ride out this storm together.
One of the skills that I learned and adapted over the past many years is deep muscle relaxation with creative visualisation and music. It is a tool that I have successfully shared in workshops with colleagues, the business community and in my private practice. I have used this, in general, to lower anxiety levels and in particular for pain relief, improved sleep and much more. I would like to offer this deep muscle relaxation to anyone who would like to use it. Should you wish to try this and add it to your toolkit, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with DEEP MUSCLE RELAXATION in the subject line and I shall send it to you via WeTransfer. There will be no cost to you.
For information on talks and workshops, to order the books CDs, or if you would like to contact Dr Musikanth, please use the details below:
|Dr Susan Musikanth
609 Thorniebrae,York Rd,
Green Point 8005, Cape Town
|Telephone: +27 72 154 9695
Fax Number: 086 617 0656